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$#!% and Other Words I’m Not Proud of

2 min read

From time to time, I’ve been known to use a few four-letter words to express myself. I don’t see anything wrong with it—I’m no angel, but I’m far from a salty sailor when I speak. But I do make a concerted effort to filter myself when my daughter is around. I’d like to avoid adding anything colorful to her vocabulary for as long as possible.

I’m a realist. I know television and music are going to introduce her to some unsavory terms soon enough. But on the same token, I’d rather not be the one to normalize these things for her. That’s why I was a little flummoxed the other day when I casually said, “what a load of shit” to a passing commercial on TV.

You’d have thought I said it in front of a nun! I stopped moving, went red and put my hand over my mouth. But too late. The damage was done.

My daughter, who was sitting on the couch, turned around, looked at me, pointed, and said “dad, you shouldn’t say shit, it’s a bad word.”

Inside I was doubled over laughing! My well-behaved angel of a daughter just scolded me for cursing, unapologetically saying “shit” in the process. But I managed to keep my composure for long enough to say “thank you, sweetie. I shouldn’t use that word.” She said “good” and turned around to watch TV. I staggered to my office laughing silently, trying not to snort.

It’s not the first time I’ve let slip in front of her, but it’s the first time I’ve ever gotten any sort of reaction—let alone being chided for my language! But I’m glad it happened. It taught me something important. Not only is my daughter familiar with at least some degree of foul language, she knows it’s unsavory. More importantly, she doesn’t think it’s proper or appropriate to use it—hence my scolding.

I’m not proud of the fact that I said “shit” in front of my daughter. But I am incredibly proud of her response. I don’t plan on stringing together any creative curses or defamatory remarks in her presence anytime soon, but it’s good to know that if I did, she’d be wholly unapproving of it.

In my mind, a little language isn’t a bad thing. My daughter’s going to grow up and face a lot more shit than a few four-letter words.

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